It was 20 years ago today that A. Bartlett Giamatti, the commissioner of baseball and longtime Red Sox fan, suffered a fatal heart attack and died at the age of 51. Bart, the father of the fine actor Paul Giamatti, was breath of fresh air, and had just ruled on the infamous Pete Rose case, banning him from the game for life just nine days earlier. I have always maintained it was one of the worst things that happened to the game in recent times.
So, to remember the man and his legacy, here is one his most famous writings, "The Green Fields of the Mind":
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone." (Click the above link for the conclusion.)
Rest in peace, Mr. Giamatti.